Gaining Ground

Wisconsin

796,902

Acres Protected

That’s about 603,714 football fields!

Land trusts have already conserved 61 million acres of private land across the nation — more than all of the national parks combined. Help us conserve another 60 million acres by the end of the decade.

Together, let’s keep Gaining Ground.

Visitors to Land Trust Properties

2.3 million

Visitors in 2020, more than triple that of 2015.

Percent of Land Trusts That Provide Public Access to Their Lands

86%

Land trusts provide opportunities to recreate and recharge.

Number of People Served

34,952

Land trusts provide programs and activities to get people outside and learn about the land.

Miles of Trails

932

Walking, hiking and other outdoor recreation improve people's health and well-being.

Miles With Universal Access

245

Universal access trails are designed to be used by all people, regardless of ability.

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Community Engagement in the Last Five Years

70%

Land Trusts Are Deepening Relationships With:
  • People from various racial and ethnic backgrounds

  • Older adults or those living in retirement communities

  • People who identify as LGBTQ+

  • People living with disabilities

  • Veterans

Land Trusts Are Helping Address Community Needs, Including:
  • Youth education and development

  • Community and economic development

  • Food security and agriculture

  • Health and wellness

  • Social and environmental justice

Demographics

Every land trust is as unique as the community it serves.

Wisconsin land trusts are community-led and supported and protect lands and waters that help the entire state.

Active Land Trusts

41

A land trust is a nonprofit that conserves land by acquiring and stewarding land or conservation easements.

Learn more about land trusts
Alliance Member Land Trusts

31

Land Trust Alliance members commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.

Learn about the land trust alliance
Accredited Land Trusts

16

Accredited land trusts undergo a thorough review of their practices in governance, finance, transactions and stewardship.

Learn about land trust accreditation

People

  • 24,254

  • 3,459

  • 93

  • 50

  • 423

Land Trust Longevity

  • 85 years old (1937)

  • 20 years old (2002)

  • 28 years old

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Focus on Climate Change in the Last Five Years

74%

Percent of Land Trusts Receiving Funding to Address Climate Change

37%

Sources of Funding to Address Climate Change
  • Wisconsin Coastal Management Program

  • Wildlife Conservation Society

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife

  • Environmental Protection Agency

Land Protected

There has been a 124% increase in Wisconsin land protected by land trusts since 2010.

Acre by acre, land trusts are helping to conserve Wisconsin lands, waters and ways of life.

2010
2015
2020
Total acres protected
355,489
475,488
796,902
+124%
Under easement
78,299
165,744
412,062
+426%
Owned
79,247
101,343
112,363
+42%
Acquired and reconveyed
143,740
159,570
156,389
+9%
Protected by other means
54,205
46,936
116,089
+114%

Disclaimer: Land trusts conserve land in many different ways and every project is unique. Category totals may change depending on how acres are reported by survey respondents to reflect the most current data and minimize double-counting. In some instances, the total may be greater than the sum of the separate categories due to organizations that provided total acres not broken down by category.

Percent of Land Owned and Under Easement Held by an Accredited Land Trust

93%

Source: 2020 National Land Trust Census

Total Public Funding for Conservation From 1998-2017

$705 million

Source: Trust for Public Land's Conservation Almanac

Acres of Land Lost to Development From 2012-2017

34,400

Source: NRCS - Natural Resources Inventory

This information reflects data collected in the National Land Trust Census, the longest-running comprehensive survey of private land conservation in America. Learn more about the Census and see which land trusts participated in the 2020 National Land Trust Census.

Making a Difference

Wisconsin land trusts are gaining ground.

Land trusts across the state are helping find solutions to some of Wisconsin's most pressing issues.

  • Providing access to land for all: In Milwaukee, the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust joined with the Fondy Food Center, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and others to benefit neighbors living in Milwaukee's urban center and beyond. The community effort, called Making Allies for Healthier Communities, aspires to conserve land and water, all while giving local farmers and neighbors a helping hand.

    Read more
  • Protecting water quality: The Green Bay watershed is one of the largest freshwater estuaries in the world and the source of one-third of the surface water flowing into Lake Michigan. The accredited Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust prioritizes the preservation of important coastal wetlands to protect Lake Michigan’s water quality and abundant wildlife.

    Read more
  • Conserving wildlife habitat: The accredited Landmark Conservancy works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect land and waterways along the Amnicon River, which is a valued Lake Superior brook trout stream. This partnership has protected nearly 5,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat, including a 500-acre camp.

    Read more

Land Trusts Working in Wisconsin

Land Trust Alliance member land trusts, listed below, commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.